A popular seal nicknamed Freddie Mercury, who took up residence and attracted admirers along the Thames in London, was reportedly mutilated to death by an unleashed dog owned by a prominent city attorney.
Rebecca Sabben-Clare, 49, Oxford-educated, and four bystanders, including a veterinarian, attempted to remove Freddie’s jaws during the fierce attack near Hammersmith Bridge on Sunday, The Sun reported.
A photographer who was taking pictures of Freddie when the attack occurred said it was “cruel.”
“The dog just wouldn’t let go,” Duncan Phillips, 55, told MyLondon. “It was not released despite repeated attempts by the public to separate the animals.”
After trying to save Freddie’s life, vets had to euthanize him on Monday, saying “the only ethical and fair option we have is to end his suffering” after he was left with a fractured fin and infected wound, according to The Guardian.
On Tuesday, police said they were investigating the death and were seeking to speak to Sabben-Clare, who was later apparently told that no crime had been committed, The Sun reported.
The woman, who studied at New College, Oxford and is now a specialist in commercial law, was named one of the leading English silk, a term that refers to a lawyer who achieves the status of advisor to the queen, in the Legal Directory 500 of 2021, depending on the output.
“What happened to Freddie, the label, is heartbreaking,” a spokesperson for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals told The Sun.
“Dog owners must act responsibly and keep their pets on leashes around wild animals to ensure incidents like this are avoided. It is never okay to allow dogs to harass and attack a wild animal, ”said the representative.
“We understand how disturbing this incident was to anyone who witnessed it and we look forward to spreading the word by encouraging dog owners to keep their dogs on a leash if wildlife is present,” the spokesperson added.
The British Divers Marine Life Rescue described efforts to save Freddie’s life at the South Essex Wildlife Hospital.
“Sadly, after an X-ray this afternoon, our worst fears were confirmed, and the seal suffered not only a bone fracture, but also a dislocation, damage to its joint, ligaments and nerves that made it impossible to treat and restore it to health. the wild, ”it said on Facebook.
“We contacted a number of marine mammal vets in the UK and the Netherlands, including an orthopedic surgeon, and sadly, based on their experiences, the decision is that he needed to be euthanized for his well-being,” continued BDMLR.
“We could not return a seal to the wild with only one fin, if amputation were an option, as we have a firm policy of not putting animals in captivity, and the welfare of the seal must come first,” he added. .
Since arriving on the Thames a few weeks ago, the beloved 10-month-old seal, nicknamed after the famous British singer of the rock band Queen, had been a mainstay where he garnered legions of fans.
He gained public attention in February when he was rescued from Teddington Lock after a fishing lure got stuck in his mouth.
Heartbroken Britons took to social media to express their grief over Freddie’s death.
“RIP #freddietheseal people who own dogs that attack people / wildlife should be banned from pets for life, first a darling in Richmond Park, now a poor seal in Hammersmith, when will it stop?” Josh Fraser said in a tweet.